How to open QEMU Copy-On-Write data .qcow2 files
Have you had trouble opening the qcow2 file on your computer? What are qcow2 files? We explain what they are and recommend software that we know will open them.
What is qcow2 file?
Files with qcow2 extension can be found as one of the default disk image file types from QEMU.
QEMU Copy-On-Write data description
The qcow2 file extension was used from version 0.9 of QEMU for one of its disk image format.
QCOW image format is one of the disk image formats supported by the QEMU processor emulator. It is a representation of a fixed size block device in a file. Benefits it offers over using raw dump representation include:
- Smaller file size, even on filesystems which don't support holes (i.e. sparse files)
- Copy-on-write support, where the image only represents changes made to an underlying disk image
- Snapshot support, where the image can contain multiple snapshots of the images history
- Optional zlib based compression
- Optional AES encryption
Suggested software to open qcow2 file
A generic machine emulator and virtualizer
A management tool for the QEMU emulator